It’s been a busy week. We’ve just hired a replacement for one of our day care teachers, who will retire this summer at nearly seventy, after a good long run of caring for children. I was up last night with the new person, first talking with her and Liana about how  we’ll work together, then going over contract details, lastly, sorting out the process of becoming certified to work in a family child care, for this woman with multiple degrees and experiences in child care programs throughout her life. This weekend I was on Martha’s Vineyard with my guy, first spending time with friends there to honor their son, who died last spring the week before my guy and I met, then to enjoy the island with my guy. We swam, ate, biked, walked, and explored, returning home latish Monday night. The week before that the kids were here, preparing for a week away at Nickerson camping with their friends from school, my daughter’s favorite week of the year, according to her.

It’s a busy, but relatively quiet place in life, no huge projects on my agenda, some time off to play and work at my own pace, house not falling apart, bills getting paid, bank accounts not growing, but holding up. I’m not making a charter school, nor starting a homeschooling program, nor expanding or reshaping our day care in significant ways. Subtle shifts, new caregiver, new baby this past week, another on her way at the end of the month, a few school age kids with us over the summer, not many this year, as our program is slowly shifting to year round for most, if not eventually all, from a balance of full year and school year and summer kids.

Feels like I am gradually moving to a life of greater quiet, but who knows. The retreats in Gilchrist, where I spent a week each summer for four years in a cabin in Michigan, with meditation and quiet conversation the noise in the day, much of it much quieter than that, come to mind when I contemplate the future. When I considered a career at SVS last year, part of me knew I wanted a quieter old age, not to go out supporting a school full force, but to have the option to slow down bit by bit, to spend more time in the water, at the beach, in the woods, walking, swimming, reading, maybe writing, with the folks to which I am closest, not necessarily in an ever-expanding circle, but perhaps in a gently shrinking one.

Last week I also sorted out summer plans. This year the main deals will be a family reunion and a high school reunion on two separate weekends with my mom in Western, New York, a week in Ashfield, with just me and Richard and the kids, maybe some visiting friends, but not the house mates, and some time with Richard on our own and with his kids and friends the following week. This will be the first year in about eighteen I won’t have a vacation with my college friends and Ashfield housemates, as they are sending their oldest off to college the week we planned to get together, combining that with a  return to Michigan where they started their family out. This will also be the first time I will spend two whole weeks with Richard, a milestone of it’s own in a life as disintegrated as integrated in many ways the last few years. To spend two weeks in a row with one person has been rare. Carla, who visited from Spain two weeks and who introduced me to Richard at the end of her trip, was the last person with whom I spent two weeks, first one since my divorce. Many folks my age take that sort of companionship for granted, whether with a spouse or children or even co-workers. I don’t. I look forward to it a whole lot.

Time to be up and start the sunny day. Another day care day for me of small kids, familiar adults, lived in my home and neighborhood of over twenty years, with colleagues I’ve known nearly as long, finished with an outing to Sharing Circle at Cambridge Friends Meeting, a place I now spend Wednesday evenings when my kids and Richard are away, without my usual salad contribution, as my salad drawer is bare, must come up with an alternate contribution to the meal I love to share, with an expanding and ever-changing small group of people I look forward to seeing every other week as long as we each and all are able. Small steps toward enlarging the circle are about my speed right now, a meal, a conversation, then home for bed and to rest before starting another relatively quiet day. Middle age passes this way for me, one day at a time, happy for the sunshine when it comes, new rain coat in the mail for when it doesn’t, as my favorite workhorse rain coat gave out last Thursday on my walk to Davis Square.